Savoring: Black and White

Exercising the Happiness Habit of Savoring Life’s Joys with my cat.

I awoke to silence, appreciating that it was not the sound of our alarm clock. I stirred slightly then enjoy a good stretch of my long legs. Reading these familiar signs that my conscious day has begun, the feline moved in. This is his window of opportunity to enjoy his favorite activity. I could feel him step over my legs and walk the length of my body to rest against my chest and stomach. My left hand naturally laid on his furry tummy. He felt warm against me. His fur was soft. He purred at the first stroke of his belly. On weekdays, the urgency to start the “to do”s du jour cut short this opportunity to exchange love, warmth and companionship between me and my 20 year old cat. I seized the chance to appreciate the moment: he did not wake me up this morning in hopes of starting this morning love-fest early. I was thankful that he is still with us and not succumbed to illness as his brother did two years before. I reveled in the familiarity of this daily chance to love and be loved. I Fended off thoughts of moments past and future, I drank in the present. I noticed how he purred harder when I curled my fingers just a little more. When rubbed lower, Midnight twisted his body slightly upward and stretched his legs downward, giving me better access to his stomach. I realized that when my fingertips get warm when I pet him. With my ears and fingers, I listened to his purr, wondering for a moment exactly what is it inside his body that makes that love motor run. On the heels of this thought was an appreciation that I do not know the mechanics of Midnight’s purr box, for it would be to demystify the wonder and magical quality that rests at the core of the feline mystique. Realizing this thought could lead me astray from the present moment and I returned to enjoy it. I Petted my cat on a languid Sunday morning. Midnight was black. He was close. He was warm and soft. Outside, it was white with new fallen snow. It was beautiful. I knew it is cold and icy beyond my window, which helped me to appreciate the warmth of my bed and my cat all the more.
Savoring Life’s Joys is one of the twelve Happiness Habits suggested by Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book The How of Happiness. When is the last time you took a moment to drink in the present and appreciate all it has to offer? They happen a often. Seize the day for this one will not pass by this way again.
~Frank Clayton, Licensed Professional Counselor

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